Smithfield Man Sentenced To 15 Years In Federal Prison

A convicted felon caught by Smithfield Police with a stolen handgun last year has been sentenced to 15 years in federal prison.

On February 20, 2017, police responded to a domestic call. As officers were approaching the residence, a female exited the home and met the officers. She appeared upset, but had no visible signs of injury. One of the officers knocked on the door and her boyfriend answered. Immediately officers noticed an odor of marijuana emanating from his person.

When questioned by officers, the boyfriend admitted to smoking marijuana, but maintained there was no marijuana in the residence.  During a subsequent search of the home, police detected a strong odor of marijuana coming from an upstairs bedroom. Officers knocked on the door of the bedroom and asked the occupants of the room to exit.

Afries Sandonicaes Maham, 34, of Smithfield and a female came out of the bedroom. A search of the room uncovered approximately 0.5 grams of marijuana in a plastic bag, a partially burned marijuana cigarette in an ashtray, and a stolen .38 caliber revolver. The female acknowledged ownership of the glass smoking pipe. Maham admitted the gun belonged to him, even though he was a convicted felon and knew he should not have a firearm.

Maham was sentenced this week to 15 years in federal prison followed by 5 years of supervised parole.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. Attorney General Jeff Sessions reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.

In support of PSN, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina has implemented the Take Back North Carolina Initiative. This initiative emphasizes the regional assignment of federal prosecutors to work with law enforcement and District Attorney’s Offices on a sustained basis in those communities to reduce the violent crime rate, drug trafficking, and crimes against law enforcement.

The investigation of this case was conducted by the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office, Smithfield Police Department, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF). Assistant United States Attorney S. Katherine Burnette handled the prosecution of this case for the government.